The Executive Branch of State Government

People, Process, and Politics

by Margaret R. Ferguson, Editor


As shapers of policy and players in national and local electoral politics, the nation’s governors are wielding more influence than ever. Yet at the same time, their duties have become more expansive and complex as they deal with both local issues and mandates from Washington, DC. What does the future have in store for our states' leaders?

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April 2006


Pages 467
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/General
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    Hardcover: £67.00/73,00€/A$112.00

This volume offers both historical and contemporary perspectives on the office of the governor, covering all 50 states and providing a comprehensive examination of the executive branch at the state level.

One of three titles in ABC-CLIO's About State Government set, this work offers comprehensive coverage of contemporary American politics at the state level. It explores the critical roles played by the governorship and state-level bureaucracies—both in managing the state’s business and as a component of the overall national system of government.

Written by some of the nation’s foremost authorities on state politics, The Executive Branch of State Government chronicles the evolution of the state-level executive apparatus from colonial times to the present, emphasizing its current importance on the local and national political stage. Chapters examine the structure and function of the governorship and state agencies, the people who serve as governor and in those agencies, and the multitude of forces that impact their work. A separate chapter examines the particular characteristics of executive branches state by state.


  • Ten contributors from across the United States, each an accomplished expert in state-level politics and government
  • Full depictions of the organization of the executive branch in the 50 states plus sidebars on influential trends, issues, and personalities


  • Fills a growing need in civics education for a comprehensive source on the executive branch of state governments
  • Presents general information about the executive branch across the states as well as specific information for each state
  • Brings to light the often overlooked workings of the state bureaucracies, explaining how they differ from one another across the states in their make-up and their function
Author Info

Margaret Ferguson, PhD, is associate professor of political science in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN. Her published articles about state politics have appeared in various journals including the Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, and Women and Politics.



"Besides offering comprehensive coverage, the set is well written and accessible to general readers. . . . About State Government highlights the significant role of state governments in a format that is manageable and engaging. It is recommended for high school, college, and public libraries."—Booklist

"Strongly recommended for academic and community library political science collections."—Midwest Book Review

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